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Designers Mark Anniversary of Boston Art Institute

Louis Boston's Greenberg helped organize visit.

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Lake Bell

Photo By Meghan Colangelo

BOSTON — Louis Boston owner Debi Greenberg brought a contingent of young American designers here to celebrate the Institute of Contemporary Art’s second anniversary this month.

Ashley Olsen, Lyn Devon, Brian Reyes, Elise Øverland, Jason Wu, Chris Benz, Sari Gueron and Maria Cornejo were among the group viewing the first major retrospective of sculptor Tara Donovan. Most designers also brought a muse dressed in their eveningwear. The museum set up mannequins in daywear from each label in its first-floor lobby. Upstairs, a huge disco ball sprinkled light out of the museum’s glass walls over Boston Harbor.

Greenberg, a longtime patron of the ICA, drew a parallel between the museum’s mission and her own at Louis Boston.

“It’s important to give young, talented people a stage,” she said. “The ICA has launched so many different people, and so has Louis….I’m proud of that.”

Most designers traveled to the city in a bus hired by Greenberg that stopped first at Louis on Newbury Street.

“The scene was controlled chaos,” said Greenberg, who wore a silver Reyes sheath and Sonya Boyajian jewelry to the party. “It was this wonderful moment of everyone mingling and talking.”

Designers expressed affection for Greenberg, who gave several their first wholesale order.

“Debi has always been so supportive and straightforward with me,” Devon said. “I met all the Louis salespeople. Debi made me go into the dressing room and try things on from other designers to learn more about fit.”

Devon brought actress Lake Bell to the ICA as a muse. Bell had last been to Boston during a teenage road trip with friends.

Earlier, actress-turned-designer Olsen spent hours in a T-shirt and jeans hanging out with Louis Boston customers. She wore a mineral-blue velvet dress from her label The Row to the ICA in the evening, but ducked interviews.

Reyes talked business strategy with a new acquaintance, Fresh cosmetics founder Lev Glazman. The designer said he was being “careful” in expansion — his company’s orders are up for spring despite broad industry retrenchment — and said rapid social changes intrigued him.

“It’s a good time to be working, a good time to be creative, because there is so much emotion rippling across the surface” of society, he said.
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